School and Education in Jordan


The education system, which was greatly expanded and decentralized during the 1980s, comprises three stages. School compulsory schooling ranges from 6 to 15 years of age. Subsequently, continuing school (vocational school or high school) and university. In 1992/93, more than 1 million children attended primary school. Attendance is high, about 99% (1992), and literacy is relatively good compared to other developing countries, 83% (1991). Despite the rapid increase in population, teacher density has increased since the 1970s. Alongside the state schools, there are important social and private educational institutions, such as UNRWA, which in 1986/87 employed 3,700 teachers and taught about 200,000 refugee children.

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In present-day Jordan, there are five universities, two of which are in Amman. The Yarmu University in Irbid specializes in technology and science. In addition, four universities (of which Bir Zayt is the best known) are located in the former Jordanian, West Bank occupied by Israel. However, these have been periodically shut down by the Israeli authorities.

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On November 11, 3 hotels in Amman – the Grand Hyatt, Days Inn and Radisson SAS – were hit by terrorist bombs that cost 57 lives and sparked protest demonstrations in Amman. Most of those killed were Jordanians, although there were also many Palestinians from the Israeli-occupied West Bank. An Iraqi organization led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the attack on the Internet. King Abdallah declared that Jordan would not be provoked and that Jordan would never “give up the fight against terrorism in all its shadows”.

Jordan Country Flag

Jordan flag source:

The government posted on video a testimony from a woman who was apparently one of the suicide terrorists and who on the video involved Musab al-Zarqawi. Nevertheless, the Jordanian public was deeply skeptical of the government’s claims. Discussions took place on the open streets of Amman and many other Jordanian cities, and many Jordanians felt that Israel was behind the attacks.

Jordan and Spain agreed in April 2006 to coordinate and cooperate to “close the doors of intolerance and fanaticism” of any type that are “global threats to world security” – especially terrorism. That same month, the Jordanian government accused Hamas, who is leading the government in Palestine, of planning attacks against Jordan. Acc. the government was only hindered by the arrest of a “considerable number” of suspects. The government failed to disclose how many. Jordan’s population is predominantly of Palestinian origin, having fled to Jordan after Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948 and the June war in 1967.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri dismissed the allegations, stating that his party had neither armed groups in Jordan nor any other country.

In July 2007, the Amman police detained 7 members of the Islamic Action Front, holding 17 seats in parliament. Acc. authorities planned the front armed actions against the government.

In February-April 2008, Jordan was the scene of some of the most extensive demonstrations in the Arab world targeting Denmark, when a number of Danish media resumed the anti-Muslim campaign that began with the Jutland Post’s drawings in 2005.

In April 2008, a new party law came into force. Only 14 of the country’s 36 political parties passed the terms of the new law – the rest dissolved. The law required legal parties to have a government certificate of recognition and at least 500 members. The parties called the law unconstitutional. The country’s largest opposition party, the Islamic Front of Action which is the political branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, fulfilled the law.